Help Google model 3D buildings with a simple new tool

Google has just unveiled “Building Maker”, an incredibly easy-to-use tool that will help them quickly expand their collection of 3D buildings.
To use Building Maker, simply choose a city from the list of 50 that they provide, and then find a building you want to model. In the browser, use the tools to outline the building. When you have it lined up, click the next image (different view of the same building) and tweak the alignment. Repeat this on a few different images until everything is lined up perfectly, then submit the building. That’s it!
The only downside is that Building Maker currently only works in certain areas near big cities, so the scope is somewhat limited. This is because they need to have imagery from enough different angles for the process to be successful. I would think they’ll be rolling it out to wider areas as more imagery becomes available.
Watch the video below for more information, or visit the Building Maker site to get started.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.



Comments

  1. Does anyone know how many people are using this feature to build these buildings? Its a pretty need idea but why doesnt google take this out of human hands and use computers and the arial photos to generate these buildings? I mean who really has the time to site around and build fake buildings for no reason?

  2. Two questions:
    Does it work in cities not built on regular grids and/or with complex structures (the video shows a very simple structure)?
    What happens when lots of people model the same building?

  3. To Huntsville AL Cabling: they did use the automated process for example in Warsaw and its really messy. Computer just didnt distinguish tree from solid building… In my opinion its one of the biggest steps to make 3D cities really rich in models.
    To Chris: For more complex models You can use Sketchup.
    They choose the best model using their requirement list.
    Awensome tool – enough said :)

  4. PaSKud – wouldn’t it be better if Google had a way of showing where models were still needed, rather than risk duplicated effort and user frustration, to get the max from this “awesome tool”?

  5. Interesting tool. Also showing that Google has much more imagery, that is showing in GE and can launch Bings maps Birds eye equivalent anytime.

  6. So, better check in Google Earth before editing ;)

  7. Google also provide a ’3D Warehouse network link’ for Google Earth to find out what buildings have been uploaded to 3D Warehouse for any particular place.

  8. wouldn’t it be better if Google had a way of showing where models were still needed, rather than risk duplicated effort and user frustration, to get the max from this “awesome tool”?

  9. J.a. Morales says:

    Here’s my problem: I’m from Colombia but none of its cities are in the list so I can’t create any model of the buildings. I live in Cartagena Colombia, and I am really interested in showing it through this tool. Waiting for answers…

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